Wild blueberry harvesting season is progressing north and eastward. Apparently it started in southern Maine last week, reached midcoast this past week, and is due to reach Down East next. So this is a good time to pull out the recipe that Sharon Frost from Calais sent last summer for a lovely blueberry gingerbread. She writes that this was one of her mother’s recipes that she remembered from her childhood.
I like blueberry cake a lot, but it is not so popular with my other half. This version of it though, flavored with molasses and ginger, was a real hit, and I watched it evaporate over roughly a 24-hour period, much more quickly than a standard blueberry cake.
I always increase the amounts of spice so I used heaping measures of both the cinnamon and ginger, and I also used cinnamon sugar for the topping. You know that you can make your own cinnamon sugar by merely stirring cinnamon into white sugar. And you know, too, that you can make sour milk by stirring about a tablespoon of vinegar into a cup of fresh milk.
I would put more blueberries in it myself, at least half a cup more, but I wouldn’t use frozen ones because I think they would be pretty mushy and turn the whole thing a pretty hideous color. So use spanking-fresh wild berries, and just regard this as a special seasonal treat.
Looking for …
Sylvia Smith in Seal Harbor can’t find an Irish soda sconelike bread or biscuit recipe she cut out of a paper or magazine. Her family loved them, and she remembers that it was a no-fat recipe, made of sticky dough with currants in it that you dropped on baking sheets, and used either milk or buttermilk. “Help,” she says. Does this sound familiar to anyone?
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½ cup butter or shortening
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons molasses
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sour milk
1 cup or more fresh wild blueberries
3 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon sugar if desired
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×9-inch baking pan. Cream together the butter and sugar, beat in the egg, and then the molasses. Sift together the dry ingredients and add them alternately with the sour milk to the sugar and butter mixture beating until you have a smooth batter. Fold in blueberries. Pour into the baking pan and sprinkle the sugar over the top. Bake for 50 minutes or until a tester inserted comes out clean.